Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, announced that it has established a joint venture with ET Energy, a global clean energy developer and operator. Together they will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) services for two solar power projects totaling 132 MWp in South Africa for BioTherm Energy, an independent African power producer.
The projects, Aggeneys (46 MWp) and Konkoonsies II (86 MWp), are located in northwest South Africa and cover an immense area of 387 hectares. They are Round IV projects of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The two solar power plants are expected to be grid-connected by the end of 2019 and early 2020, respectively. Over 400,000 Canadian Solar’s 1500V high voltage modules, CS6U-P, will be installed on single-axis solar tracking systems, with a total of 34 central inverters for the two solar projects. Construction of the projects is expected to start in September 2018.
Dennis She, President and CEO of ET Energy, said, “In partnership with Canadian Solar, BioTherm Energy, and other market leaders in South Africa, we have met all the requirements of the REIPPPP. With our South African subsidiary founded in 2016, and years of experience in project operation and EPC management, ET Energy will offer professional EPC and O&M services to utility scale PV plants in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa.”
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, said, “These projects are the first large-scale applications of our products in Africa’s high voltage market. We hope to set more benchmarks for the renewable energy market in South Africa with high-quality products, advanced PV technology, and global expertise.”
As a signatory to the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, South Africa has long been a leader in the African renewable energy industry. In November 2016, the country released the latest draft of its Integrated Resource Plan, which outlines the country’s electricity strategy to 2050. Under the plan, the country seeks to add 18 GW of PV plants over 2021-50. In recent years, the successful implementation of the REIPPPP has ensured that the South African renewable energy sector has adhered to this strategy.